Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita

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Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipeFeature Fridays: Cocktails A-Go-Go

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? It is now Fall, and you just knew I would be featuring an autumnal version of my favorite cocktail, the Margarita. Right? Seriously. You did, didn’t you?

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

As you would guess, I was inspired after our visit to the apple orchard last weekend. It was a gorgeous day and we walked away not only with doughnuts fresh-from-the-fryer, but with fresh chilled apple cider to drink as well as a big jug for later. Immediately, I had to develop this special Marg, Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita based on the “formula” for my Sparkling Tart Cherry Margarita. I had to because I was just itching to whip them up!

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

After you get to know me, I must confess…I’m fairly predictable. Even The Big Lug knew I was going to develop a sparkling version of my Apple Cider Margarita. Why? Because I tend to wax rhapsodic about my days working for Leone Wine & Imports when I was fresh out of high school, about a certain special sparkling apple cider, and how I had the chance to meet many local chefs and restaurant and bar owners as well as winery owners. I even had the opportunity to work a few trade shows which, for me, was more fun than actual work.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

The Leone family knew how to party and I was often invited to “call on” (read: party) after work on Friday nights at many fine establishments. Our favorite stops were McFrock’s Tavern (sadly, no longer in existence…but, it was a gorgeous bar…click the link to see a photographic image on a postcard) and, located conveniently across the street, Steak & Ale, in Farmington Hills at Twelve Mile and Orchard Lake Roads (location closed during recent economic downturn). The dance floor is where we usually ended our night. The Steak & Ale had a killer dance floor. We girls kicked off our shoes and let loose. There were other favorites, too, to include the ever popular Ginopolis.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

One of my fondest memories during my tenure with Leone Wine & Imports was meeting the President of St. Julian Winery, David Braganini. St. Julian Winery is Michigan’s oldest and largest winery and is based in Paw Paw, Michigan. When David came into town, there was always a tasting to sample new Michigan wines. And, cheeses and nibbles were brought over from “the food side” (Leone Foods) to make our tasting complete.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

During one of David’s visits, he unveiled their new line of non-alcoholic sparkling juices. I was completely enamored with their Sparkling Apple Cider. The other item that was unveiled at the same time was their Sparkling White Grape Juice. In fact, I was so enamored with the sparkling cider that I bought a case of it to share with family and friends. (It’s true. I started concocting alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails at a young age.) Everyone loved the sparkling cider—whether used as a mixer or enjoyed virgin—especially my grandparents.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Because I was not yet of legal drinking age, I was able to buy the case with my employee discount. It was a fun perk because I often purchased cocktail mixes and brought them up when I visited my girlfriends at CMU (Central Michigan University) which, at that time, was our nation’s #1 party school. No lie. My girlfriends would shout upon my arrival, “Stacy’s here! Time to party!” My mother may or may not have missed her blender during those weekend trips up to Mount Pleasant. 😉

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Well, to cut to the chase, I was disappointed when I could not find St. Julian’s Sparkling Apple Cider locally. I could only find the other items in the St. Julian sparkling juice line. When I visited the St. Julian site, the Sparkling Apple Cider was not listed. So sad! Bummed. I’m really bummed. I truly wanted to use it in my recipe for our Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita, and introduce it to you, because it was incredibly flavorful and full of bubbly effervescence.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

The good news is that The Big Lug and I happened to find a nice Sparkling Apple Cider, as well as a Sparkling Apple Juice, to use and recommend in our recipe for Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita. Just scroll down to view the images in the Recommended Brands section following the recipe.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Just as I imagined, our Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita knocked our socks off! To be a true Marg, The Big Lug and I agree on a salted rim. It is a must. Sugar doesn’t do it for us. But, I have to tell you…I am totally smitten with the addition of fine-quality ground cinnamon (read: Penzeys) and freshly grated whole nutmeg in the pink Hawaiian sea salt we like to use. I mean, the combination of flavors, along with the cocktail which has a hint of ginger in it due to the ginger liqueur, made my skirt fly up! If you are a girl, and you love a good Marg, your skirt will fly up too. Guaranteed.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Honestly, I don’t even need to bestow all of the qualities that make our Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita wicked good. But, I will. For you, I will!

What makes our Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita wicked good? First, Cabo Wabo® Reposado is my #1 choice for the high-quality tequila. It never disappoints and always finishes smooth. Second, the orange liqueurs of choice are Cointreau® and Grand Marnier®. I simply could not make this Margarita without them. I love that extra citrus kick in addition to fresh squeezed lime juice which is so necessary in a true Margarita. Third, although optional, I like to add a splash of ginger liqueur. It makes this Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita truly shine.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

For the bubbly action, select either sparkling apple cider or sparkling apple juice. The blend of flavors is sublime in this Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita. And, since you do not want to dilute them, go with the mini ice cubes made with apple cider or juice. They’re like little popsicle ice cubes and are enjoyable when your cocktail glass empties. Finally, the rim garnish…pink (red) Hawaiian sea salt, with fine-quality ground cinnamon and freshly grated whole nutmeg, is the cherry on top! Fer shure, fer shure.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Have a lovely Fall weekend, my friends! I will be back soon with a special apple cobbler (trust me on this, I tested this new method three times this past week) with a choice of two different toppings!

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe




Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Makes one (1) cocktail.

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita

For Margarita lovers, an autumnal version of the classic Margarita, that will measure up to every expectation. Made with apple cider, fine-quality tequila is blended with orange and ginger liqueurs with a little zip of freshly squeezed lime juice and sweetened with agave nectar. The bubble and spark come from the sparkling apple cider. The salty-spice rim garnish is the cherry on top!


  • For the Optional Rim & Cocktail Garnishes
  • Pink sea salt, such as Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt in Medium Grain, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon fine-quality ground cinnamon, such as Penzey’s
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
  • Fresh lime wedges, to moisten cocktail glass rims
  • Fresh red apple slices, halved, such as Cortland
  • Fresh lime slices, halved
  • For the Cocktail
  • Ice for cocktail shaker
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) tequila, such as Cabo Wabo® Reposado
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) Grand Marnier® Orange Cognac
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau®
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) Domaine de Canton® Ginger Liqueur, optional
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) fresh apple cider
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce (1½ teaspoons) agave nectar
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) chilled sparkling apple cider (or sparkling apple juice)
  • Ice for cocktail, such as apple cider or apple juice mini cubes, optional
  • Special Equipment
  • Cocktail shaker with strainer
  • Chilled cocktail glasses
  • Mini cube ice cube trays, for mini ice cubes, optional
  • Rimmed shallow plates for rim garnish


Prepare the Rim Garnish: Place salt into a rimmed shallow plate; stir in cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Moisten cocktail glass rims by rubbing sliced limes around rim. Immediately, dip rim of glass into plate to coat with salt.

Prepare the Cocktail: Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add remaining cocktail ingredients with the exception of chilled sparkling apple cider (or sparkling apple juice) and shake vigorously, about 20 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with chilled sparkling apple cider (or sparkling apple juice) and garnish rim with slices of apple and lime. If desired, add mini ice cubes made of apple cider or apple juice. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Recipe Source:

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

Recommended Brands

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita © #apple #cider #cocktail #recipe

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.


  1. I would never have thought to make an apple cider margarita, it sounds amazing though!
    Jaclyn recently posted…Friday FeaturesMy Profile

  2. How could you resist a sparkling apple cider margarita? You can’t. It lures you in and keeps you sipping. I want this every day. Pinned!

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Jennie! I agree with you…Apple Cider Margaritas definitely do lure you in. Thanks for pinning, my friend!

  3. Such a fun transitional drink as we head into fall, I love your rim garnish!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…maple cinnamon pecan muffinsMy Profile

  4. Oh yum! What a fun fall cocktail Stacy. Perfect for happy hour, such as today. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend sweetie!
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Roasted Red Pepper SoupMy Profile

    • Thank you, Anne! You will enjoy this apple cider cocktail. Thanks and you have a wonderful Fall weekend, too!

  5. Apple Cider? And Margaritas? You just combined my two favorite drinks into one, and I must say, I’m very thirsty now. Thank you for sharing Stacy!
    Monet recently posted…Little ThingsMy Profile

  6. These cocktails look incredible! I love this Fall inspired Margarita! So creative and perfect for starting the weekend:) Thanks for sharing Stacy and have a great weekend 🙂

    • Thank you, Kelly! I hope you will try this version of an Apple Cider Margarita. Sparkling, as in a little bubbly, is always a good thing, right? Have a lovely autumn weekend, my friend!

  7. This apple cider Margarita is a BRILLIANT idea!!!
    Looking forward to the apple cobbler recipe!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend too Stacy
    Shashi @ recently posted…Happy Friday 🙂My Profile

  8. Stunning pictures! Love that you brought that Fall touch onto a drink!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Pumpkin PancakesMy Profile

  9. I was just telling my hubby I wanted to make a drink with my apple cider!! I think it’s meant to be! 🙂
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Pumpkin Spice Puppy ChowMy Profile

  10. Ahhh, a nice touch with the nutmeg and salt. That’s one special drink there. Looks so festive with the garnish. Hubby is not big on alcohol, so we always have martinelli’s, love that brand.
    Can’t wait for your cobbler. I know you’ve been busy cooking up some delicious stuff.
    Cheers to your great recipes.

    • Thank you, Asha! You always say the kindest things and make me smile. Yes, photo editing is now complete and my apple cobbler recipe will be posted this evening. Thank you for your interest and enjoy your weekend! xo

  11. Yum, yum! Perfect for fall 🙂
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…September Pregnancy UpdateMy Profile

  12. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    Oh wow. This is definitely something I need to try! Looks divine! Went to our local pumpkin patch today to get cider and found out that they went out of business!! I’m crushed. Will have to find a new place now. 🙁 Love the addition of the ginger liqueur too!

    • Thank you, Maria! Aww…I’m feeling so bummed for you over your favorite local pumpkin patch going out of business. Total bummer. I hope you find a new favorite spot for cider, doughnuts and pumpkins. It just makes the Fall season so much brighter. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  13. So perfect for fall!!! I had an apple cider martini at a local bar and I’ve been meaning to recreate it at home and now I have a recipe. Thanks!!!
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker recently posted…Chocolate Milky Way CupcakesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Zainab! Although this is not a Martini, I hope you will enjoy this Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita. Cheers!

  14. I’ll take 2, please 😉 YUM!!!! Those sound amazing, girl!
    rachel recently posted…Mouthwatering Mondays {Week 22}My Profile

  15. How in the wold did I miss this fantastic drink! Hope it’s not too early because I could go for one right now!
    Meghan recently posted…Cauldron Halloween Cake with How-to VideoMy Profile


  1. […] I would have my work completed for this recipe for a Thursday post so I could post the cocktail, Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita, on Friday, as part of my rotating feature, Feature Fridays, for Cocktails A-Go-Go. However, in the […]

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